Thursday, April 16, 2009

Immigration in the 21st Century

From the time of the nation's founding, immigration has been crucial to the growth as well as a periodic source of conflict within the United States. Presently the issue of immigration has expanded from concerns about low wage illegal immigrant workers from Latin America, to Mexican drug cartel violence along the U.S. – Mexico border, information technology workers in Silicone Valley and public schools in the Southwest.

Children of illegal immigrants account for about one in 15 elementary and secondary students nationwide and more than one in 10 students in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas.

Technology firms say that increasingly restrictive visa and immigration rules have imperiled their ability to hire the best engineers from around the world.

Using proceeds from drug sales in the U.S., Mexican drug gangs are buying high powered fire arms from gun stores in states along the U.S. – Mexico border and have been involved in the increasing number of drug related kidnapping in Arizona.

The Obama administration has signaled that immigration reform is an important part of the president’s agenda especially because of immigration's impact on the nation’s economy, criminal justice and education systems.

Teaching with the Constitution
Remember to click on the text of the Constitution for an explanation of the highlighted text.

Ask you students to read the 14th Amendment and determine why children born to illegal immigrants living in the U.S. are citizens? Ask them if illegal immigrant parents should be deported even if their children are U.S. citizens?

In the event that Mexican cartel drug violence does spills over the border into the United States, does this constitute an “invasion” according to Article IV section 4 of the Constitution?

Ask you students to read Article I section 8 clause 4 of the Constitution and determine if the Congress can pass legislation to limit or expand the number immigrants from a specific country. Then have them read about arguments for and against immigration at the turn of the 20th century. Ask them to evaluate how the different perspectives on immigration at the turn of the 21st century compare to those at the turn of the 20th century.

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